Marco Rojas to see out the A-League season

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 04/01/2013
Marco Rojas
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KIWI MESSI: Marco Rojas (right) celebrates with Archie Thompson after scoring a spectacular goal for the Melbourne Victory against the Newcastle Jets.

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Marco Rojas will see out the A-League season with Melbourne Victory before turning his attention to a potential European move.

The All Whites winger has been in stellar form for the Victory and there were rumblings that he could leave Melbourne during the January transfer window.

But the 21-year-old Hamilton product yesterday told The Dominion Post he wanted to continue pushing for an A-League title, starting with tomorrow's game against his old team, the Wellington Phoenix.

"I'll be here till the end of the season," said Rojas, who comes off contract with the Victory at the end of the season in April.

"I'm just focusing on playing and eventually I'll sit down and have a think about it and have a talk with dad [and manager Rodi] and see what happens."

Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has said he believes Rojas should spend one more season developing his game in the A-League before heading overseas.

Rojas said he understood where his coach was coming from.

"It's always good to hear your coach say that, that he wants you here for another year.

"So I'm happy to hear that but I'll just focus on what's going on now and then worry about my future later on."

Postecoglou oversaw the rise of another All Whites attacker, Kosta Barbarouses, at the Brisbane Roar.

Wellington product Barbarouses is on the books of Russian club Alania Vladikavkaz, but is currently on loan at Greek giants Panathinaikos.

However, he is struggling for regular game time - a situation Rojas said he was well aware of.

"Kosta chose something and I'm not digging at him but it was a bit harder for him, I guess. But he seems to be enjoying it and I don't think he made the wrong decision.

"It's just about making a decision that's going to help develop your football and that's something that I'm going to be looking at, for sure."

Rojas, whose father is Chilean, said he had no one dream destination.

"I always dreamed as a little kid of playing in the higher European leagues but every footballer dreams of that."

While happy with his form, Rojas said he still needed to develop greater consistency with his performances.

"I'm far from the finished product. The main thing is just building consistency and once you can do that, then the sky is the limit."

Rojas, who got his A-League start at the Phoenix thanks to a Yellow Fever scholarship, said chatter about him being the "Kiwi Messi" made him laugh.

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"I try not to take too much notice of that. It's flattering to think that when people watch me they think of the same style as him. But I've got so much more improvement to do to get to even half of that level."

With nine goals, Rojas is the third leading scorer in the league behind Jeremy Brockie (Phoenix) and Daniel McBreen (Mariners), who both have 10.

"Brockie's been doing really well. I'm very happy for him because he works really hard as well.

"He's had a few ups and downs but he's just on fire, and I'm happy for him because of the confidence it's going to give him and hopefully it continues. Maybe just not this weekend."

The pint-sized Rojas said his family and friends were helping him stay grounded, and experienced Socceroos striker Archie Thompson was proving an ideal role model. "Archie is a good guy and he helps out a lot of young players. He's always telling me not to leave him."

- The Dominion Post

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